Day 14

First and foremost, today is the one year anniversary of the day I left to circumnavigate the world. So many happy memories with so many incredible people. If any of my SAS friends are reading this, I miss you guys like crazy!

Where to begin? Today was our third(?) day at Subway Watersports. My internship wasn't supposed to technically begin until today but they put me to work as soon as I got here! We usually leave the house around 7:30 every day, Sunday through Friday, spend the day at the shop working in exchange for our training, and then head home once the last boat comes back and everything is put away, tanks, regulators, BCD's, you name it. Our day ends anywhere between 4:00 and 6:00, it all depends on the customers and who wants to do what. And everyone there is there because it was what they love. I mean this afternoon we didn't have any customer's going out on dives and so were really free to do as we pleased. So what did we do? We hopped on a boat and went diving of course! I love that when we're not required to do our job we're doing it anyway because it's what we love.

So yeah, basically part of our time is spent working for the shop, going out on dives with customers, all that sort of stuff, and the other part of our time is spent in the classroom receiving training, or in the pool working on skills; It's really random what we do, and there is never a set plan as to what we will be doing, things change constantly.

So on Sunday, the first day at Subway, we started out the day by watching some video on fish identification. Riveting. (Not).

Short interlude: Cat just dragged a rat in and is having a grand old time swatting it back and forth across our floor.

Back to Sunday, after the video, a new intern showed up: Holly, a girl from Canada. At some point later during the day, Aaron, a guy from Florida also showed up. Those of us who are only open water certified spent the afternoon in the pool doing a brief refresher course, because apparently when you dive everyday, telling your divemaster that the last time you went diving was in April is qualification for a refresher course. So we spent the afternoon in full scuba gear, sitting at the bottom of a pool practicing various skills such as removing our masks underwater and then putting them back on.

After our pool time was over, we got to go on our first real dive here with Bob. Bob is an older retired guy who signed up for the internship program a year ago and is only just now getting around to finishing it. He is really quite the character. So apparently, to become a divemaster, the last skill you have to demonstrate is to lead a dive. So Bob acted as our divemaster and us interns were his customers, and we went to White Hole, where he briefed us on the dive and led us around while one of the instructors evaluated him. The group of us on the dive were only Open Water certified, and as such we are only qualified to go to a max depth of 60 feet. Well, Bob led us down to 80 feet and so he didn't pass that time around.

Our second day, yesterday, Monday, we showed up at the shop and there is a white board where they write out which boats are going out, and who will be on board. So Sheila and I were scheduled to go along on the Lady Rose with the customers. This is a chance for us to help out with the customers, as well as for us to get some dives in. We went to two different sites, the first was Andy's Wall, I believe, and then the second was Dennis's wall. It is quite a different experience going diving as an intern rather than just for the fun of it. Normally I'd be fascinated with all of the underwater life, but as we are training to be divemasters ourselves in just a short time, I was suddenly more observant of the other divers and how everyone was doing. This was the sort of group that though that they were big hot shots for knowing how to dive, and two of them kept going off on their own trying to prove that they didn't need to be with a divemaster at all, They were really quite an obnoxious bunch.

The boat returned at the end of the dives. We all have lunch around noon everyday. Subway Watersports is next to a resort Turquoise Bay, and they really work together in that people who dive at Subway generally stay at Turquoise, and people who stay at Turquoise are there to dive with Subway. So the restaurant at Turquoise prepares us a nice lunch everyday and we all get a break (not that the entire day isn't a break really) to stop and eat.

After lunch we went out with Bob again so that he could try to finish up his last skill once more. This time he took us to a site that is named for all the starfish there; the name escapes me though. We descended and the current was super strong, which was stirring up the sand and making visibility positively horrid. I could barely see the person in front of me and lost my buddy right away. We all had to stop while Bob went to find her and then started swimming once more. Sever minutes later, we lost half of our group, and so Bob finally signaled to us that we were aborting the dive and ascending. We bobbed at the surface for quite some time and still no sign of the others. The ones we had lost were the instructors who were evaluating Bob though, so it wasn't like they couldn't handle themselves. We had come up several hundred yards from the boat, and began the swim back against the current. The boat just seemed to get farther, and farther away, and by the time we finally reached it, the rest of our group ascended perfectly alongside the boat. Poor Bob failed again, not because he aborted the dive, but because he had waited too long to do so.

Today we were supposed to have done the reading on some of our advanced skills: deep diving and underwater navigation, and since some of us had neglected to do so, we spent the morning reading instead. At some point we were asked to help with the rental equipment, and so spent the rest of the morning completely reorganizing and renumbering all of the BDCs and wetsuits. Fun. In the afternoon, we were supposed to go out with Bob again, but Bob was sent out with the snorkelers, and so that was when the rest of us went on a fun dive. Not that all dives aren't fun, but the sole purpose of this one was specifically for fun, and not to go with customers or work on skills or such. Darren, the British instructor, led us through this sight that was so fantastic! we were winding our way in and out of crevices and even saw a spotted eagle ray!

We were on our way back when we asked our boat captain if we could stop the boat and at that point all peeled off our wetsuits and went for a swim.

I think that basically catches you up on everything I've neglected to write the past few days. I wake up at 6:30, make myself breakfast, and then leave to spend the day at the dive shop, and usually spend my evenings chilling with the other interns. My total time on the internet lately has been limited to maybe 30 minutes in the evening before bed. And sorry if it sounds like I was trying to write down everything at once and didn't really get a chance to fix up some styling / wording / whatnot, but I really haven't got the time at the moment to do so.